(Images: DNAIndia and The Star Online)
Rajesh Khandekar is a 42 year old traveling enthusiast, who has been to many countries in the last seven months. From Asia, to Australia and New Zealand, the experiences he brought back home were vast and worth cherishing. The best thing according to him was that no one honked while driving on the roads; as there was no such trend in the countries where he cycled all the way.
Well yes, cycling is what sets him apart from different travelers. Experiences even brought him sleeping next to a graveyard after a long day cycling, only to find comfort in sleep. Khandekar expresses how he unintentionally had non-vegetarian soup for the very first time in his life. His motive was to spread awareness about “global warming”, and that he very well addressed by his means of travel- that is to cycle and not lead to air pollution.
Rajesh Khandekar owns a grocery shop in Thane, and it was December only in last year that he started his expedition journey on his gearless cycle. Khandekar doesn’t speak English very well but that wasn’t a barrier for him, because people readily understood his gestures, and that’s how they communicated. He even spent a day with a Thai family, who cooked vegetarian dishes for him.
Umesh Thakur, who is a cycling enthusiast himself, had helped Rajesh Khandekar in approaching the embassies and sponsors. Vikrant Chavan who is a local corporator and with him a co-operative bank assisted Khandekar by paying for his four airline tickets- except which his complete journey was an eco friendly one. He cycled 17,000 kms in total and up to 120 kms each day, while the tyres of his cycle gave away. Later on, he found smaller sized tyres to fit in this cycle.
Rajesh Khandekar wrote 500 pages in his diary, where he penned down his experiences of the journey he covered on his bicycle, which can be said to have wings.